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The Art of Shampooing

Shampooing your hair is an art form.

It is the only way to keep your hair clean and maintain its healthy condition. Washing your hair too frequently can strip it of its natural oils. This can make your hair dry and more prone to split ends and breakage. On the other hand, shampooing infrequently means your hair gets greasy, smelly, and weighed down.

So, how often should we be shampooing our hair and who should be shampooing your hair?

Here’s the science of shampooing:

Your scalp produces a natural oil or wax called sebum, which acts to protect your hair and skin and can stop the growth of bacteria. The pores in your scalp are constantly producing sebum which coats your hair follicles. Although sebum is odorless, when it’s broken down by the natural bacteria on your skin, it can produce an odor.

How often to wash your hair?

As a general rule, hair should be shampooed every 2-3 days at most. Some lucky ladies get away with shampooing their hair twice a week. The even luckier ones (usually those with curly hair) can do it once a week. If you find your hair getting greasy in between shampoos at this frequency, I’d recommend trying a dry shampoo. Spraying this powder based aerosol onto the roots of your hair will absorb the excess sebum and freshen up your hair in between shampoos. Great on weaves and straight hair clients.

How to Shampoo? Lather, rinse, repeat!

We first must choose the right shampoo.

When applying your first dime-to-quarter-size amount of shampoo to your hair, you should work it in from the roots to the tips. Remember that there’s skin under all that hair, so try and work the shampoo into your entire scalp with your fingertips first. On this first round, your shampoo is unlikely to produce a lot of lather – this just means that it’s working, removing all the dirt.

Rinse your hair thoroughly (for about 30 seconds) to make sure all the built-up sebum and left-over shampoo are washed away. It’s good to work your fingers through your hair whilst doing this to get to the hard to reach areas. As nice as it is to just stand under the shower head and let the water do the work, it’s not very effective at rinsing everything away.

It’s always good to have the professionals do this. It’s also a great time to relax and enjoy a great massage; definitely, a great time to meditate or unwind.

The last step in the shampooing process

Repeat the whole thing all over again. The purpose of the first shampoo is not to wash your hair but to clean your scalp and remove all the sebum and dead skin, since your last shampoo. The second shampoo is needed to clean the rest of your hair and ensure all the dirt and grime is gone. You won’t need to use as much shampoo the second time around there is likely to be more lather.

After the shampoo…

The last step after shampooing the hair is conditioning the hair, softening the cuticle to be able to style as desired. Working the conditioner through the hair from root to ends using a detangling comb or brush is recommended. I like to give my clients a head massage at this time stimulating growth and ensuring the blood is circulating throughout. Working the palm of my fingertips from the forehead to nape is ideal and recommended. After five minutes, rinse thoroughly for another three minutes.

And voila! Healthy hair for the win!

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